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St Andrew's Hall


St Andrew's Hall

St. Andrew's Hall is the centrepiece of The Halls and is the name by which many people refer to the whole complex of buildings. It has a fine, high-beamed ceiling, beautiful stained glass windows, limestone columns and a large polished maple floor. It was originally the nave of the friary and was completed in 1449. The size and beauty of its proportions are impressive without elaborate decoration in keeping with the friars' rule of simplicity. The stained glass, stone carving and deeply-coloured portraits add richness to the simple backdrop of the building, adding a contemporary feel to this incredibly historical building of civic tradition - the best of both worlds.

The nave was intended as a great preaching hall for citizens of Norwich with the pillars kept as light and as high as possible to maximise vision and acoustics. The fine hammer-beam roof was a gift from Sir Thomas Epingham who commanded English archers at Agincourt. The west window is Victorian Gothic and contains fine examples of stained glass depicting the coats of arms of well-known local families.

The hall has traditionally been used for a multitude of functions from royal banquets to international table tennis. It is regularly used for classical music concerts and during the annual Norfolk and Norwich Festival it hosts performances by jazz, world and folk artists from all over the world. It is popular for banquets and dinners, conferences, collector's markets and exhibitions.

St. Andrew's has a fixed stage, which can be extended, and a retractable tiered gallery which transforms into an impressive auditorium seating 800 people. The stage and choir stalls can accommodate orchestras of 100 musicians and choirs of 250. With appropriate space management, however, it is also comfortable for much smaller groups of performers. Behind the choir stalls is the organ that was specially commissioned and designed for St. Andrew's by the Bryson brothers in 1880. There is also a Steinway grand piano which is available for hire.

The West Gallery tiered seating accommodates up to 186 people and provides a fabulous view of proceedings either directed at the permanent stage of for central arena events. Main access is through the porch door and is flat and accessible but it is also integrated with the facilities of adjoining hall spaces.

Event type maximum
number
optimum
numbers
effective
numbers
Conference
(oblong tables)
500 450 250
Dinner (round tables) 300 220 96
Dinner and dance 350 300 100
Event type maximum
number
optimum
numbers
Conference
(oblong tables)
720 690

Exhibition

(6ft unit)

(8ft unit)

 

80

65

 

70

55